Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies
Providing global warming solutions for California and the West.
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CEERT Senior Technical Consultant
Southern California Activities
CEERT continues our long-time work to reduce Southern California’s dependence on fossil-fueled power and increase its reliance on clean energy resources. In addition to our regulatory advocacy to promote renewable energy and the building of a low-carbon grid for the region, we are particularly focusing on Los Angeles and the Imperial Valley.
The issues of accelerating greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, adapting to high penetrations of renewable energy, rationalization of the role of natural gas in the energy mix, and regionalization of the electric grid are front and center in the one-quarter of the state that is not part of the CAISO and is not regulated by the CPUC.
CEERT has actively engaged with the Southern California municipal utilities on these issues. Jim Caldwell is a member of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Advisory Committee that is conducting a study of a long-term path to a 100% renewable power grid, and Liz Anthony is his alternate. This study is a 2-3 year effort that began last fall. A very important first step is a top-to-bottom review of gas generation in the Los Angeles Basin, with LADWP pausing its plans to repower over 2,500 MW of in-Basin gas plants to instead determine an appropriate path to relying more heavily on zero-carbon alternatives. First results of this study will be previewed to select members of the Advisory Committee (including Jim Caldwell) in mid-April.
Jim is also working with the Sierra Club to influence the resource plans of Glendale Water and Power. This 350 MW utility in the Los Angeles Basin has been among the last utilities in the state to feature new investment in natural gas as the cornerstone of its future resource plans. It is proposing to spend $500 million to build 262 MW of new gas facilities, citing a “need” to “firm and shape” renewable energy and ensure reliability during peak-load periods, considering the potential for transmission outages. Jim has developed an alternative plan that relies on transmission upgrades, Glendale joining the Energy Imbalance Market (along with LADWP), and significant investment in local solar, energy efficiency and demand response to achieve the same goals at roughly one-half the price, significantly improved resiliency, and lower GHG emissions. A preliminary decision by the Glendale City Council in mid-April opted to study these clean energy choices rather than approving the gas plant.
V. John White